Personalised Search >:-(

I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve excitedly rounded on one of my colleagues to inform them of (yet another) SEO success only to be ripped back to reality when they Google it and find a different and usually inferior result.
Personalized search results can be extremely frustrating and potentially embarrassing from an SEO perspective.
But fear not, there is a solution. The addition of &pws=0 at the end of the URL of any Google search query removes personalised search metrics. The following step by step instructions show you how to setup depersonalised search as a handy bookmark.

Depersonalization

Firefox:

  1. Go to organize bookmarks. Select a bookmarks folder, right click and select New Bookmark.
  2. Add the following:

    Name: Objective Search (or whatever you like)

    Location: http://www.google.co.uk/search?&q=%s&pws=0 (you can change .co.uk to .ie, .com or any other Google domain; the &pws=0 is what turns the personalized search off).

    Keyword: e.g s, g, (this term will call the Location when you enter it in your address bar).

  3. Click Add and you’re ready to go.
  4. Now go to your address bar, enter the keyword you chose followed by your query e.g ‘s website management’. Objective results:-).

Chrome:
I think at some point in the past you could just create this bookmark on your Firefox browser and then import it into Chrome. However, I have tried this numerous times and it just doesn’t work. It’s not quite as logical in Chrome…

  1. Click on the wrench icon in the top corner and select options.
  2. Select Manage Search Engines and at the bottom of the page you have the option of entering what is equivalent to name, keyword and location in Firefox.
  3. See steps 2, 3 and 4 of previous.

If you’re performing search for SEO purposes it’s vital that you see what the average web user sees rather than results that have been influenced by your search habits. This is a very simple but invaluable tip which has multiple uses. Use your imagination:D.

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